Republican and Democratic leaders are continuing to work on an aid package in hopes of mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Associated Press, the proposed bill is designed to supplement the $2.3 billion the state is receiving from the federal stimulus package. Eliminating the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits, lifting instructional hour minimums for schools, and postponing certain requirements for healthcare workers and Medicaid recipients are just some of the highlights. The proposed bill would also give the Joint Finance Committee the ability to cut certain parts of the state budget to make up for a possible deficit due to declining revenues. That is being met with opposition from Governor Tony Evers and some Democrats like State Senator Dave Hansen.
Republican Representative Joel Kitchens says despite the administration’s pushback, he has been encouraged by Democrats and Republicans working together on the bill.
The final legislation related to the coronavirus is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.